Greenwich Entertainment Acquires U.S. Rights To ‘Robert Irwin: A Desert Of Pure Feeling’ About Leading American Artist; Sets October Release Date

EXCLUSIVE: Greenwich Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling, Jennifer Lane’s documentary about the legendary installation artist Robert Irwin, who has been called “one of the most pivotal figures in recent American art.”

Greenwich plans to release the film simultaneously in select theaters and on VOD on October 20. Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling premiered at DOC NYC last fall and went on to screen at SXSW in Austin, Texas. 

Irwin’s “decade-spanning career has profoundly influenced generations of artists and is best known for his landscape work at LA’s Getty Center and his dazzling experiential installation in Marfa, Texas,” notes a release about the film. “New interviews with the artist and his colleagues are supplemented by archival materials, including photographs and archival recordings, as well as new, immersive footage of Irwin’s artworks.”

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“It’s exciting to partner with Greenwich Entertainment on the release of the film and introduce audiences to Robert Irwin’s groundbreaking work,” Lane and producer David Hollander said in a joint statement. 

Greenwich co-president Edward Arentz said, “Jennifer achieves something very rare: to allow viewers to understand the creative and philosophical evolution of an artist while conveying the subtlety and majesty of their work.”

The Pace Gallery, which represents the artist, says “Irwin’s interventions blur the distinctions between space and artwork, exploring the nature of light, volume, and perceptual psychology… Irwin employs a wide range of media, from fluorescent lights to fabric scrims, colored and tinted gels, paint, wire, acrylic, and glass. He makes art that he considers ‘conditional,’ responding to the context of its specific environment while displacing emphasis away from the materials themselves, however, drawing our attention to perception.”

Irwin, who turns 95 next week, was born in Long Beach, California. “[He] began as a painter in LA’s 1960s ‘cool school’ scene, then turned his back on the art world for nearly a decade only to return as a leading exponent of site-specific installation art in the Southern California-based Light and Space movement,” the release from Greenwich noted. “His unconventional – and often ephemeral – projects resist easy categorization and defy commodification; “catching lightning in a bottle” is the artist’s favorite metaphor for what he does. While Irwin explored the nature of materials, light, and perception itself, he supported himself as a gambler at the racetrack and as a beloved teacher, nurturing the talents of a diverse group of now-famous artists including Chris Burden, Ed Ruscha, and Vija Celmins.”

Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling marks the first feature-length film directed and edited by filmmaker Jennifer Lane, co-founder of the CineMarfa festival. The documentary is produced by Jennifer Lane, David Hollander, Arne Glimcher and Joseph Cashiola; executive producers are Carolyn Pfeiffer, Nancy P. Sanders, David Koh, and Nicole DiMiceli. The deal was negotiated by David Koh of Curatorial on behalf of the filmmakers with Greenwich’s Edward Arentz.

Greenwich Entertainment is a leading independent distributor of documentaries. Its releases include National Geographic’s Oscar-winning Free Solo, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice from Oscar winner Rob Epstein and Emmy winner Jeffrey Friedman. The Linda Ronstadt documentary won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Music Film.

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